About the project

Hidden Stories is an oral history project undertaken by AVID in 2014 to mark 20 years of volunteer visiting in detention, and is the first project of its kind in the UK.


We’ve always been extremely aware of the important role that visitors play in supporting people being held in immigration detention.

Their constant presence has, for many people, been a ‘lifeline', offering emotional and practical support when they’ve had few others to turn to. It’s also helped ensure that issues and injustices that would otherwise remain hidden, have reached the eyes and ears of those beyond the barbed wire.

In our 20th year we wanted to ensure that this extraordinary commitment and compassion was captured and commemorated – and that the experiences of those detained and the people who’ve supported them were heard.

Throughout 2014 we travelled the length and breadth of the country – from Glasgow to Ramsgate - interviewing visitors, former visitors and former detainees. They welcomed us into their homes and generously shared with us their experiences of immigration detention and visiting over the last 20 years, allowing us to capture the thoughts, feelings and memories important to them, in their own words.


AVID would like to thank all the former detainees, visitors, visitor groups, volunteers and funders who generously supported and took part in the Hidden Stories project.